Still

Still

4.0 4
by BeBe & CeCe Winans
     
 
When blockbuster gospel/R&B duo BeBe & CeCe Winans decided to hang it up in 1994 to concentrate on solo careers, they literally split themselves in half. Without flinching, BeBe Winans went the route of contemporary R&B, releasing a handful of soulful projects spread across a litany of record labels -- a streak that was prolific and mainstream-friendly, but too

Overview

When blockbuster gospel/R&B duo BeBe & CeCe Winans decided to hang it up in 1994 to concentrate on solo careers, they literally split themselves in half. Without flinching, BeBe Winans went the route of contemporary R&B, releasing a handful of soulful projects spread across a litany of record labels -- a streak that was prolific and mainstream-friendly, but too erratic in light of his and his sister's past glories. CeCe Winans, by contrast, became a superstar: by remaining true to the Winans' gospel heritage, she went on to sell millions of records, collected multiple Grammys, and even founded a boutique gospel label of her own. As disparate as the siblings' night-and-day fortunes were, nothing quite compared to the magic the two could create together, a spell that's in full force on Still, BeBe & CeCe's long-in-the-making return. As far as comebacks of the decade go, Still ranks right up there with Whitney Houston's I Look to You, except Clive's protégé sounds weathered and worn, while the Winans sound as if they never left. Aware of how high-profile their return is, the twosome pulls out all the stops and calls every shot, going to great lengths to ensure "things" are as slick, accessible, and feel-good as nearly their entire, early-'90s run was. With every return there's a certain appeal to nostalgia, a fact that's not lost on the quirky, autobiographical title track where the duo proffers, "It's been a long time since we've been together," only to later wax reflective and name-check a laundry list of their previous hits in the chorus. A cutesy, calculated move on BeBe's part, sure -- he remains the chief songwriter -- but think of it as a prologue of sorts. From there, the pair gets right back to business on the knockout first single, "Close to You," a smooth throwback that, aside from a misplaced Auto-Tuned bridge, would make Babyface and old-school fans smile. The track, like the majority of Still, is an ode of love and devotion to God, but the duo is intentional in keeping the sentiments broad and ambiguous -- maximum exposure is the goal here. Even CeCe, who never shied away from gospel or the Gospel as a solo artist, only limits herself to third-person allusions to the divine, as when she calls God "G.O.D." in the reggae-fied "He Can Handle It." These pleasantries are sure to miff gospel purists, but they're pure BeBe & CeCe. Much like big brothers the Winans, their vision is to inspire and uplift regardless of persuasion, which explains why the grand "Grace," with its sweeping orchestral flourishes and choral parts, doesn't quite spell it all out for the wayward listener, but gives enough hints to suggest a universal need for God's gift. Not everything on Still is this dense, thankfully: BeBe & CeCe are too good at the pop thing to not evoke the cheerful vibe of their heyday, which they deliver in spades here, whether they're channeling early Mariah ("Things"), Off the Wall ("Reason to Dance"), Motown ("Never Thought"), or more modern fare (the Ne-Yo-esque "Change My World"). Classic and current all at once, Still is a widely varied set, more so than any other the siblings ever recorded before. It may seem like they're trying to be all things to all people and see what sticks, but BeBe & CeCe are beyond crowd-pleasing just for the sake of it. Chalk it up instead to two relatives who haven't seen each other in a while and just want to have the time of their lives -- exchanging notes, sharing lessons learned, and reminiscing about the past while looking expectantly to what lies ahead.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/06/2009
Label:
Malaco Records
UPC:
0034373110523
catalogNumber:
31105
Rank:
25220

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

BeBe & CeCe Winans   Primary Artist
Eric Darken   Percussion
Keith Thomas   Bass,Piano
Scott Frankfurt   Drums
Lain Gray   Background Vocals
Paul Jackson   Guitar
Leroy Barbie Romans   Organ,Keyboards
Tracy Silverman   Violin
Faye Simpson   Background Vocals
Mervyn Warren   Keyboards,Background Vocals
Marvin Winans   Vocals
Lawrence Johnson   Background Vocals
Peter Zizzo   Guitar,Keyboards
Suzanne Young   Choir, Chorus
Darwin Hobbs   Background Vocals
Sherrie Kibble   Choir, Chorus
Lisa Vaughn   Background Vocals
Nathan Young   Choir, Chorus,Choir Director
Wendell "Junior Jazz" Ferraro   Guitar
Priscilla Jones-Campbell   Background Vocals
Dontae Winslow   Horn
Anthony "CD" Kelly   Percussion,Drums
Anthony Davis   Choir, Chorus
Olivia Mack   Choir, Chorus
Jonathan Crone   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Alex Teamer   Keyboards
Lionel Delao   Percussion
Genesis   Track Performer
Sheldon Goodson   Choir, Chorus
Cindy Larson   Choir, Chorus
Gene Smith   Choir, Chorus
Zemroy Lewis   Bass
Lionel "Deadbeat" De La O   Percussion

Technical Credits

Keith Thomas   Arranger,Programming,Producer
Percy Bady   Composer,Producer
Scott Frankfurt   Percussion Programming
Mervyn Warren   Arranger,Programming,Producer,Orchestration
Mike "Hitman" Wilson   Engineer
Mario Winans   Composer,Producer,Instrumentation
CeCe Winans   Composer,Producer
BeBe Winans   Composer,Producer,Vocal Arrangements
Peter Zizzo   Arranger,Composer,Producer,drum programming
Warryn Campbell   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Instrumentation
Ronald B. Gillyard   Producer
Bruce Buechner   Engineer
Wendell "Junior Jazz" Ferraro   Illustrations
Anthony "CD" Kelly   Producer,Engineer
Jonathan Crone   Engineer
Alex Teamer   Arranger,drum programming
Graham Archer   Engineer
Thiago Pinto   Engineer
Denise Tunnell   Groomer
Alvin Love III   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Still 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Chuc More than 1 year ago
I have no knowledge of the current trend in gospel music when I brought this CD as a birthday gift for a co-worker. After remembering conversations and an observation of CDs in their office, I knew that my co-worker enjoyed gospel music. My selection of this particular CD came after hearing Ce Ce Winans' interview and a sampling on a NPR station. This review comes, in part, from the recipient who has told me how much they are enjoying the CD and why.
duckypoo More than 1 year ago
This brother and sister duel has wonderful and spiritual voices that will always get you spiritually in the mood to praise the lord.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago